Maritime journalists in Nigeria have commenced plans to set up an advisory council to enhance and enrich journalists operating on the maritime beat and also checkmate the unprofessional conducts of maritime journalists.
The proposed advisory committee would have representatives from the Maritime Reporters Association of Nigeria (MARAN), Maritime Reporter’s Council of Nigeria (MARCON) and the League of Maritime Editors as well as representatives of prominent individual maritime media proprietors.
The decision to establish this advisory council was reached during the 2015 Annual Seminar for Maritime Journalists which held in Lagos. The summit for maritime correspondents was organized by the Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC) in collaboration with Messrs First Mediacon Network Limited.
The President of Maritime Reporter’s Council of Nigeria (MARCON), Mr. Ismail Aniemu lamented the high level of plagiarism adopted by maritime journalists and the journalist’s conflict of interest between professionalism and commercial contemplations.
He said, “Journalists covering such a sensitive sector as the maritime are expected to not only keep abreast of the dynamics associated with the maritime world but also operate in line with international best standards. This lazy copy and paste method of journalism must stop. Findings show that syndicated stories sent to some journalist’s e-mail boxes are copied and pasted as sent”.
Aniemu canvassed the training of journalists by employers and stakeholders, even as he advised journalists to be keen to seek personal training and self development. He advocated for cooperation among maritime media practitioners and a balance between entrepreneurial interest and professionalism.
Mr. Ignatius Nweke, the Deputy Director Public Relations Department of NSC, praised the media for making admirable contributions to the growth of the maritime industry in recent years.
“Permit me to draw your attention to the invaluable contributions of all your members to the growth of the maritime industry. Worthy of mention in this regard, is the pivotal role of setting an appropriate agenda for the government to consider the industry as one that can be a major source of revenue for the country especially with the fall of price in oil in recent times”, Nweke posited.
“The mass media should partner with the government for the maritime industry to move forward. Journalists should devote more time to writing stories that are developmental, objective and be of advantage to the sector. As agents of change in the society, we can effectively employ the transformational tools of the media for the growth of the maritime industry.” He added.
By Kenneth Jukpor